Boundary games: A language and intention based framework for boundary critique



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Exploring ways to understand the boundary of a problematic situation is fundamental to intervention. The boundary draws a difference between what is relevant and what is not relevant for the problem situation. In other words, it points out what it is and is not the system. Boundary Critique Theory, has used the notion of boundary to built ways to examine and reflect critically about the intervention process. It has developed ways to manage situations such as conflict, exclusion and the generation of reasonable discourse among the participants. These developments use ideas from sources such as critical theory, pragmatic philosophy, sociology, biology and cybernetics. This paper contributes to the range of theories informing Boundary Critique by adding a framework of Boundary Games. The framework is based on Wittgenstein's Language Games and Relevance Theory (a theory from Language Pragmatics). It shows new ways to reflect on the actions and language on a setting. Particularly, it proposes six possible "moves", intentions or games in relation to the boundary. The framework implies a shift in how the boundary is usually managed in Boundary Critique, from a boundary that shapes our actions towards a boundary that is shaped by every action.


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